The Swineherd

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NARRATOR 1: Once upon a time there was a poor prince; his kingdom was very small, but it was large enough to enable him to marry.  He wanted to marry the Emperor’s daughter, and was decided to ask her if she would marry him.


NARRATOR 2: On the grave of the prince’s father grew a rose-tree, the most beautiful of its kind. It bloomed only once in five years, and it had only one single beautiful rose,  It had such a sweet scent that anyone who smelt it instantly forgot all sorrow and grief. He had also a nightingale, which could sing beautifully.


PRINCE: I will give this rose and the nightingale to the princess. I hope she accepts  to marry me.


NARRATOR: So both were put into big silver cases and sent to her.


EMPEROR: Servant!.




EMPEROR: Take this cases to the great hall where the princess is.


Narrator 3: The princes was with her ladies when she saw the large cases with the presents inside, she clapped her hands for joy.


PRINCESS: If only it were a little pussy cat!.


NARRATOR 1: But the rose-tree with the beautiful rose came out.


LADIES: Oh, how nicely it is made.


EMPEROR: It is more than nice, it is charming.


PRINCESS: Ugh!. Papa.  It is not artificial, it is REAL!.


LADIES: Ugh, it is real!.


EMPEROR: Let us first see what the other case contains before we are angry.


NARRATOR 2: Then the nightingale was taken out, and it sang so beautifully that no one could possibly say anything unkind about it.


LADIES: Superbe, charmant.


COURTIER: How much the bird reminds me of the musical box of the late lamented empress, it has exactly the same tone, the same execution.


EMPEROR: (crying)  You are right.


PRINCESS: I hope it is not real.


LADIES: Yes, certainly it is real.


PRINCESS: Then let it fly, and I will not see the prince.


NARRATOR 3: But the prince was not discouraged. He painted his face, put on common clothes, pulled his cap over his forehead, and went to see the emperor.


PRINCE: Good day, emperor.  Can you give me a job at the court?.


EMPEROR: Yes, but there are so many who ask for a place that I don’t know whether there will be one for you; but, still, I will remember you. But wait a moment, it has just occurred to me that I need someone to look after my pigs, for I have so very many of them.


NARRATOR 1: So the prince was appointed imperial swineherd, and he lived in small room near the pigsty; there he worked all day long, and when it was night he made a pretty little pot. There were little bells round the rim, and when the water began to boil in it, the bells began to play the old tune:


Ah Dear Augustine!

All is Gone, gone gone !


NARRATOR 2: But there was something even more wonderful than that. When you put a finger into the steam rising from the pot, you could at once smell what meals were cooking on every fire in the whole town.


NARRATOR 3: That was indeed much more remarkable than the rose. When the princess with her ladies passed by and heard the tune, she stopped and looked quite pleased, for she also could play it-in fact, it was the only tune she could play on the piano, and she played it with one finger.


PRINCESS: That is the tune I know.  He must be a well-educated swineherd. Go and ask him how much the instrument is.


NARRATOR 1: Lilieth, one of the ladies had to go and ask. Before she went into the muddy field, she put wooden clogs on her feet.


LILIETH: What will you take for your pot?.


PRINCE: I will have ten kisses from the princess.


LILIETH: God forbid.


PRINCE: Well, I cannot sell it for less.


NARRATOR 1:  Lilieth went to tell the princess what the prince said.


PRINCESS: What did he say?.


LILIETH: I really cannot tell you.


PRINCESS: You can whisper it into my ear.


NARRATOR 2: Lilieth then told her what the prince said.


PRINCESS: It is very naughty.


NARRATOR 3: So she started walking away, but  when she had gone a little distance, the bells rang again so sweetly.


“Ah! Dear Augstine !

All is gone, gone, Gone!”


PRINCESS: Lilieth, go and ask him, if he will be satisfied with ten kisses from one of my ladies.


NARRATOR 1: So Lilieth went again to talk to the prince.


PRINCE: No, thank you, ten kisses from the princess, or I keep my pot.


NARRATOR 2: Lilieth went back to the princess.


LILIETH: My princess, he said no.


PRINCESS: That is tiresome, but you must stand before me, so that nobody can see it.


LILIETH: Very well,let me call the other girls.  Ladies!  We have something to do for our princess.  Come fast!.


NARRATOR 3: The ladies came running.  Lilieth told them the plan so they went to the prince hut and placed themselves in front of her and spread out their dresses, and she gave the swineherd ten kisses and received the pot.


NARRATOR 1: That was a pleasure!. Day and night the water in the pot was boiling; there was not a single fire in the whole town of which they did not know what was preparing on it, the chamberlain’s as well as the shoemaker’s. The ladies danced and clapped their hands for joy.


LADIES: We know who will eat soup and pancakes; we know who will eat porridge and cutlets; oh, how interesting!.


PRINCESS: Very interesting, indeed.  But you must not betray me, for I am the emperor’s daughter.


LADIES: Of course not.


NARRATOR 2: The swineherd, or the prince, did not waste a single day without doing something; he made a rattle, which, when turned quickly round, played all the dance tunes known since the creation of the world.


NARRATOR 3: One day the princess was passing by and heard the music.


PRINCESS: But that is superb, I have never heard a more beautiful sound. Lilieth, my loyal lady, go down and ask him what the musical instrument costs; but I shall not kiss him again.


LILIETH: Right away.


NARRATOR 1: So Lilieth went again to the prince`s hut.


LILIETH: Swineherd, the princess want to know how much your instrument costs, but she said that she will not kiss you again.


PRINCE: I will have a hundred kisses from the princess.


LILIETH: What!.  That`s enough.  But I will tell my princess your answer.


NARRATOR 2: So Lilieth once again went to the princess and told her the answer.


PRINCESS: I believe he is mad.


NARRATOR 3: And she started walking away,  but soon she stopped.


PRINCESS: One must encourage art.  I am the emperor’s daughter!. Tell him I will give him ten kisses, as I did the other day; the remainder one of my ladies can give him.


LILIETH: But none of us wants to kiss him.


PRINCESS: That is nonsense, if I can kiss him, you can also do it. Remember that I give you food and employment.  So, go and tell him what I said.


LILIETH: Very well.


NARRATOR 1: And Lilieth had to go down once more.


PRINCE: A hundred kisses from the princess, or everybody keeps his own.


NARRATOR 2: And the princess had no choice but to do as he said.


PRINCESS: Place yourselves before me.


NARRATOR 3: They did as they were ordered, and the princess kissed him.


NARRATOR 1: At that moment the emperor had just came out on his balcony.


EMPEROR: I wonder what that crowd near the pigsty means!. said the emperor.


NARRATOR 2: And  he rubbed his eyes and put his spectacles on.


EMPEROR: The ladies of the court are up to some mischief, I think. I shall have to go down and see.


NARRATOR 3: He put on his shoes, and went down to the courtyard he walked quite softly, and the ladies were so busily engaged in counting the kisses, that they did not notice the emperor. He raised himself on tiptoe.


EMPEROR: What does this mean?.  Oh, daughter, what are you doing?.  Why are you kissing the swineherd?.


NARRATOR 1: Then he started hitting their heads with his shoe just as the swineherd received the sixty-eighth kiss.


EMPEROR: Go out of my sight!.   You both get away from the palace.  I don`t want to see you anymore.


PRINCESS: But, father..


EMPEROR: Go away!.


NARRATOR 2: They started walking out from the palace, and after a while she stood and cried, and then it started raining.


PRINCESS: Oh, I am an unfortunate creature!.  I wish I had accepted the prince. Oh, how wretched I am!.


NARRATOR 3: The swineherd went behind a tree, wiped his face, threw off his poor attire and stepped forth in his princely clothes; he looked so beautiful that the princess could not help bowing to him.


PRINCE: I have now learnt to look down on you.  You refused an honest prince.


PRINCESS: Oh, please forgive me.


PRINCE: No,  you did not appreciate the rose and the nightingale.


PRINCESS: Please, prince, give me another opportunity.  I am sorry for not accepting you.


PRINCE: Now you say that,  but you did not mind kissing a swineherd for his toys; you have no one but yourself to blame!.  Now I will go to my palace alone.


PRINCESS: No, I want to go with you!.  Don`t leave me here, my father doesn`t want me in the palace. What am I going to do?.


PRINCE: Good-bye Princess, I really wanted to marry you, but you deceive the most precious and valuable gifts that I gave you.


NARRATOR: And then he returned  to his kingdom and left her behind. She could now sing at her leisure:


“Ah Dear Augustine!

All is Gone, gone gone !”




Author:  Hans Christian Andersen.


Adapted by: K I D S I N C O


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